Powered by the notion that “tech doesn’t have to look so techy,” the specialized watch bands launched on Kickstarter this past October. Built with recycled wood and vegan leather, the accessories are meant to offer an eco-friendly alternative to the plastic, metal, and silicone constructions typical of most FitBits and Apple Watches.
According to Analog Watch Co. (Bandly’s parent company), the hope is that the bands will offer folks an easy way to connect with nature, which the brand suggests could lead to an overall increased sense of well-being. Whether or not that claim is true, people seem to be responding favorably to the accessories; as of this writing, the campaign has received over $20,000 from nearly 500 backers on Kickstarter and orders have been placed by the Museum of Modern Art and the Guggenheim for sale in their museum shops.
At the moment, customers can choose from four different types of wood: Rosewood (which has an earthy, medium brown tone), Light Teak (which evokes a bright, sandy beach), Maple (the lightest and most minimalist of the bunch), or Dark Teak (which gives off the strongest forest vibe). A fun feature of the Bandly design is that the pulpy exterior reaches right into the smartwatch itself, as every timepiece comes with a matching screensaver that can fill up the face when the device is not in use.
As far as design specs are concerned, the bands are able to fit 38/40 mm and 42/44 mm watches (compatible with all Apple Watch series). Additionally, they’re 9.5 inches long with a 22mm wide band that slightly tapers to 20mm. The real wood surface is complemented by an animal-free leather bottom that’s buttery smooth and flexible. A big selling point for the watches is their optimized mobility, which gives them the versatile feel of traditional leather while still looking like a handcrafted, knotty object.
The Bandly project has reached its funding goal, so it should be heading into production soon. Early estimates suggest that backers should receive their watch bands by January 2020. Once these orders are processed, other interested buyers will be able to purchase the bands from the brand directly. As always, please exercise caution when participating in a crowdfunded project.
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